Almaty The Beautiful

Posted on Posted in Blog, My Trips, Uncategorized

Beautiful Almaty, Kazakhstan


During the last twenty plus years while living in Seattle, I was able to go back to Almaty 3 times and my very last trip to the city was in May 2015. What made this journey so distinct was that this time we have traveled together as a family.

In my honest opinion, Almaty is the most beautiful city in Central Asia and was the very first town that I have traveled to.

In other words I was born in this fabulous city and have lived there until me and my family have immigrated to Seattle in September of 1994.



Some facts about the city of Almaty

Almaty (formerly known as Alma-Ata) is the largest city in Kazakhstan and despite losing its status as the capital to Astana, Almaty remains the major commercial and cultural center of Kazakhstan. The name “Alma-Ata” is derived from two Kazakh words “Alma” which translates as apple and “Ata” which translates as father, so together it means “father of apples“.

Almaty was founded in 1854 as Russian frontier fort called Verny. Many Chinese,  Cossacks and Siberian peasants started to settle around the fort. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was a place of exile and the most famous outcast was Leon Trotsky. In 1927, Almaty became the capital of Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan. In 1991 Almaty was the place for the meeting at which the USSR was finally pronounced dead, when all five Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union together with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Russian, Ukraine and Belarus joined the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). Almaty lost its status as capital of Kazakhstan in 1998.


Almaty is loaded with extremely friendly people (which are much more friendlier that people in some other Republics of the former Soviet Union), beautiful parks, dozens of world class shopping malls. thousands of restaurants, cafes and public markets (bazaars) and many many other kinds of places where tourists can fulfill their entertainment thirsts.  


The uniqueness of Almaty is that the city is situated in the foothills of the Zailiysky Alatau which is part of the Northern Tian Shan mountain system in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Combination of mountains and tall buildings creates impressive and breathtaking sight and forms an unbelievable skyline of the city.



Some views of Almaty skyline




Almaty, Kazakhstan


Almaty Skyline




Almaty, Kazakhstan




I can boast about Almaty skyline all day long but enough about that and let me tell you more about our trip and the places we have visited.

Before this recent trip, my previous visit to Almaty was accomplished in 2004 and honestly not much changed since.

Here are the changes that I have certainly observed since my last journey 11 years ago

More tall buildings, more cars, more traffic jams, more churches, more mosques, couple of new freeways, and the biggest newbie structure was…




Construction of the Almaty Metro began in September 1988 when Kazakhstan was still part of the Soviet Union. However, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, funds from Moscow dried u and the new Kazakhstani government was unable to continue construction. In 2003, the government of Kazakhstan laid out a new development initiative which included government funds for continued construction on the metro and by 2005 the project has restarted. The first section of the Metro opened in December 2011 with initially five stations and one more section with two stations was added to the system in April 2015.


For me it was simply a MUST to try the long awaited Almaty Metro and to my surprise it turned out to be world class subway system


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More random Pictures and Videos


Taxi drivers at the airport are playing chess while waiting for the clients

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First President’s Park

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Kazakh Yurts

Kazakh Yurts


One of the Orthodox Churches

Orthodox Church


One guy selling Peacocks on the side of the road: Asking price was $1000.00 per one (I am NOT kidding)

Selling Peacock


Iconic Television Tower

Television Tower


Security guy at the construction site

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Famous Cathedral at Panfilov’s 28 Guardsmen Park

Cathedral at Panfilov's 28 Guardsmen Park


View of Almaty from airplane


One of many iconic mountain places in Almaty is Ski Resort Chimbulak (Горнолыжный курорт Чимбулак). It is open year around and is only about 20-30 minutes away from central Almaty. Recently new cableway  was launched to connect Chimbulak with another iconic place Medeu which is outdoor high-mountain skating rink. Before cableway was contructed, Chimbulak Ski Resort could be reached only by cars or by hiking.


Famous outdoor high-mountain skating rink – MEDEU (МЕДЕО)






Taking cable car to Ski Resort Chimbulak (Горнолыжный курорт Чимбулак)

Ski resort Chimbulak


One of the mountain rivers

mountain river


Very famous Central Asian food – LULYA KEBAB (ШАШЛЫК)

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One of many mosques in the city



Another Orthodox Church

Orthodox Church


One of the Burger King restaurants

Burger King


Cathedral at Panfilov’s 28 Guardsmen Park (Парк 28-ми Панфиловцев). Always lots of pigeons


Ski resort Chimbulak (Горнолыжный курорт Чимбулак)


Almaty – Kapchagay freeway (Капчагайская трасса)


Views of Almaty from airplane while landing at Almaty (ALA) airport


Taking off from Almaty (ALA) airport. Zailiysky Alatau mountains


I hope that after reading my post and going over pictures and videos you are going to include Almaty, Kazakhstan in your travel bucket list. 

If that is the case then feel free to contact me before you start planning trip to Kazakhstan. It would be the honor for me to help any tourist with either flight itineraries, hotels, transportation, attractions, shopping, entertainment, local markets, cafes and restaurants.

Almaty has a special place in my heart and I miss this city all the time, especially mountains and lulya kebab.

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